Tranel's potential bests incumbency

Telegraph Herald – Monday, October 25, 2010


The contest for Wisconsin’s Assembly District 49 seat is a rematch of the race two years ago pitting Republican Travis Tranel against incumbent Democrat Phil Garthwaite. Just like two years ago, we find Tranel to be the stronger candidate.

A rural Cuba City dairy farmer, Tranel has observed the Madison political system with a critical eye. At 25, he may lack the life experience his opponent has, but he makes up for it with keen observation and boundless energy. Tranel takes issue with what he considers reckless spending in Wisconsin state government. He backs up his concerns with documentation. In school spending, for instance, Tranel notes that rural schools — like virtually all of the schools in southwest Wisconsin — were hit hard by school aid formula cuts while Milwaukee area schools endured cuts far less severe. While some candidates complain about government with no specific suggestions on how to fix it, Tranel has ideas. He would take tax increases off the table until the economy recovers. He would expedite permits and hold off on new regulations that could be an impediment to new business endeavors or economic development projects. He suggests a dose of preventive medicine for the state: An amendment requiring state government to build up reserves in good times that could be dipped into during recessionary times. He’d rather see the state spend transportation dollars on roads than on passenger train projects. He sees opportunities for cost savings in shared services and embraces a more regional approach to economic development.

Garthwaite has proven to be a lawmaker who is not afraid to speak his mind. But much of the time, his opinion is in lockstep with Madison leadership. Garthwaite offers no argument to Tranel’s claim that the incumbent votes with Democratic Party leaders 96 percent of the time. On the partisanship question, Tranel has no track record to compare that to, and it should be noted his priorities largely dovetail with those of his party.

Garthwaite has some ideas worth further review: encouraging governmental entities (such as colleges and corrections facilities) to buy locally and offering tax breaks to those who invest in southwest Wisconsin start-up companies. In his four years in the Assembly, Garthwaite has learned how to work within the system and has done his share of negotiating. But Garthwaite fails to make the case that he is consistently voting with the priorities of southwest in mind.

In Tranel we see a young man with a vibrant political future. Is he a bit idealistic about what he can accomplish? Yes. But it’s refreshing to see someone who still believes that individuals can make a difference in politics. Given Tranel’s energy, enthusiasm and the diligence with which he has scrutinized the issues, he has made believers of us, too.

Editorials reflect the consensus of the Telegraph Herald Editorial Board.

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Letters: Teachers union unfair to Tranel

Telegraph Herald – Monday, October 25, 2010


I have known Travis Tranel, 49th District Wisconsin Assembly candidate, for about five years. I know him to be an articulate, intelligent young man with lots of genuine enthusiasm, who knows and cares about the lawmaking process.

Travis has more than a farm background. He and his family are involved in the day-to-day business of farming. Therefore, legislation impacting agriculture will be of the utmost importance to him and his fellow farmers.

The Wisconsin teachers’ group known as WEAC is a labor union, pure and simple. My observation as a teacher for 30-plus years is that the candidate with a “D” behind his/her name is the candidate that received WEAC endorsement.

I believe that the union sets the ideas regarding education, not the candidate. As a result, this symbiotic relationship exists to the exclusive benefit of the Democratic candidate(s) and the teachers’ union.

A WEAC ad gave not Travis’ responses to specific questions, but what they reflected as to what his answers would be, based on the planks of the state Republican platform. While operating under the umbrella of precepts of the Republican Party, Mr. Tranel is quite capable of thinking and answering for himself, and is able to think independently.

Age and experience are factors, but they are not the most important factors. Respect of and for fellow legislators, the ability to formulate and articulate ideas and issues, and an ongoing quest to learn more about an issue are the important factors.

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Tranel Endorsed by the Dairy Business Association in 49th Assembly Race

DBA Board of Directors Posts Assembly Race Endorsements

Wisconsin Ag Connection – 10/20/2010

The board of directors for the Dairy Business Association has announce its endorsements of Assembly candidates for the upcoming general election. The organization says these candidates have shown their support for Wisconsin’s agriculture industry, which is responsible for employing one out of ten Wisconsin citizens and creates over $59 billion in economic activity each year.


Letter: Tranel better choice to serve in Madison

Telegraph Herald – Friday, October 15, 2010


I am excited Travis Tranel decided to take a second shot at Phil Garthwaite.

My son is a former legislator from this area. Like Travis, my son almost won the first time he ran, but came up a little short. I can tell you that after you get that close to winning, it is a difficult decision to run again. It would have been way easier for Travis to just let it go.

However, Travis, like my son, must have realized that true leaders don’t quit and go home. They go back to work for what matters. Anyone paying any attention at all to what is going on in Madison knows that Garthwaite is not a good representative. Our state is in dire need of some good citizen leaders.

The folks up there now are not getting the job done. I hope others see that we need new leadership. Travis has demonstrated that he can be that leader. Let’s give him the opportunity.

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Candidate profiles: 49th Assembly District

Wisconsin State Journal – Monday, October 11, 2010

Travis Tranel emerged from the Republican primary to challenge incumbent Democrat Phil Garthwaite for his 49th Assembly District seat.

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Tranel tops Kuhle, earns rematch

Republican wins primary and gains another chance to beat Garthwaite for Wisconsin’s 49th Assembly District seat.
Telegraph-Herald – Thursday, September 16, 2010

CUBA CITY, Wis. — Travis Tranel is getting a second chance to beat Phil Garthwaite for Wisconsin’s 49th Assembly District seat.

Tranel defeated fellow Republican Dave Kuhle on Tuesday in the GOP primary for the seat representing all of Grant County and part of Richland County.

Tranel received 2,950 votes (54 percent), while Kuhle collected 2,463 votes (46 percent).

Tranel earns right to face Garthwaite in 49th Assembly District

Telegraph Herald – Wednesday, September 15, 2010

With all precincts reporting, Travis Tranel has edged Dave Kuhle for the Republican bid to face incumbent Phil Garthwaite, D-Dickeyville, for Wisconsin’s 49th Assembly District seat.

Tranel received 2,580 votes, or about 54 percent, to 2,205 for Kuhle, about 46 percent.

Tranel will square off with Garthwaite on Nov. 2.

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Tranel Endorsed by NRA with an “A” rating!

Travis Tranel has been endorsed by the NRA.

Click here for more info >>

Letter: Tranel an exceptional candidate

Telegraph Herald – Thursday, September 9, 2010


Travis Tranel, candidate for the Wisconsin State Assembly, and I became friends during our freshman year at Wahlert High School. In a school inundated with students who were eager to make a difference, Travis stood out as a model of exceptionalism.

Travis started his first business, T&T Labradors, in elementary school and was recognized by the Entrepreneur Institute of Milwaukee as the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year.

When doctors diagnosed his father with cancer, Travis assumed full-time responsibilities of the family dairy farm at the age of 16. Travis earned the admiration and trust of his peers at Wahlert, and was elected class president.

Instead of foregoing higher education to concentrate on his 140-cow organic dairy farm and custom square bailing business, Travis enrolled at Loras College. He graduated in 3 1/2 years with honors and degrees in economics and finance.

After graduation, Travis was elected to the St. Joseph Parish Council in Sinsinawa. In 2008, the Telegraph Herald endorsed Travis Tranel over incumbent Phil Garthwaite by calling Travis an “impressive” and “inspiring” candidate with “drive and smarts.” The Wisconsin State Journal also endorsed Travis by praising his “extraordinarily compelling” candidacy and “good judgment.”

At a time of profound political dissatisfaction, voters in Wisconsin’s 49th District would benefit from replacing the incumbent politician with an exceptional leader like Travis Tranel.

Letters to the Editor: Trust in Travis

Fennimore Times – Thursday, September 2, 2010

I am writing in support of Travis Tranel for State Assembly in the upcoming Republican primary on September 14th. I’m supporting Travis for three primary reasons: (1) Conservatism, (2) Work Ethic, and (3) Respect.

First, Travis is a conservative; there is no question about that. However, Travis is also a thinker and can work with others who might feel differently. In our two-party system, that ability is crucial. I also know Travis has the right temperament for the job.

Second, Travis’ work ethic is unparalleled; he has the work experience of a man twice his age. Whether it be on the farm, in the community/church, or pounding the pavement in a campaign, Travis isn’t afraid to spend the time necessary to get the job done.

Finally, Travis is respectful of Grant County’s long Republican traditions. When I returned to Grant County in 2001, I was welcomed into the fold despite my youth for some of these same qualities. As both President of the Grant County Republican Women for two terms and during my tenure as Chair of the county party itself, I was welcomed with open arms, making some wonderful relationships with lifelong area Republicans.

I hope you will do the same for Travis and consider voting for him on Tuesday, September 14th. It’s time for some “new life” in the Republican Party and Travis is just the person to bridge the gap between the generations and provide the leadership and positivity we need for southwest Wisconsin in Madison.

Amy Kenney
Fennimore, WI

Past President – Grant County Republican Women

Past Chair – Grant County Republican Party